Dolly Varden Cake

“As to Dolly, there she was again, the very pink and pattern of good looks, in a smart little cherry-coloured mantle, with a hood of the same drawn over her head, and upon the top of that hood, a little straw hat trimmed with cherry-coloured ribbons, and worn the merest trifle on one sideā€”just enough in short to make it the wickedest and most provoking head-dress that ever malicious milliner devised.” -Charles Dickens, Barnaby Rudge, 1841.

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German New Year’s Cookies (Springerle)

Springerle are a type of traditional German cookie dating back at least to the 15th century. This particular recipe is from the 1861 American cookbook The Housekeeper’s Encyclopedia. Although the recipe is simply titled “German New Year’s Cookies,” several details such as the use of hartshorn, anise seed, wooden molds, and drying the cookies for 24 hours before baking clearly identify these as classic Springerle.

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Mock Turkey

Vegetarianism has a long history in the United States, although the word “vegetarian” was not in common usage until around the 1850s. By the 1880s, vegetarian meat substitutes that were meant to mimic the look and taste of meat helped bring vegetarian foods to a wider audience, and vegetarianism was widely promoted as part of a healthy lifestyle.

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